10 things I wish I knew before going to Gabon

Nigar Bayramgizi07 October 20203565 views8 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Gabon
travel to Gabon. But, before, let's clarify where is Gabon. Gabon is situated in west-central Africa. A former French colony has borders with Cameroon on the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, Equatorial Guinea on the northwest, the Gulf of Guinea on the west. The capital of Gabon is Libreville. The official Gabon language is French. It shows clearly that ties between France and Gabon influence the language and culture strongly. Also, Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou (Eschira), Bandjabi are among the Gabon languages. Gabon flag, which consists of green, yellow, and blue bands, is adopted in 1960. Gabon map maintains in itself cities such as Angouma, Belinga, Batanga, Bitam, Mounana, Obili, rivers such as Ayina River, Djadie River, Ivindo River, the recourses like petroleum, natural gas, hydropower, diamonds, gold. After a little discussion about where is Gabon, I will attempt to provide the people who are preparing to travel to Gabon with interesting and necessary information.

1. Gabon Population

I would like to begin with the Gabon population. In my opinion, people in the country where you are going to visit can be very influential in your trip mood. Firstly, I would like to make a point that the Gabon population maintains 2.1 million people. In other words, we can say that Gabon is one of the least densely inhabited countries in Africa. This fact can help you to be more comfortable with your travel if you want to avoid crowded people. More than 40 ethnic groups refer to the Gabon population. The largest of them is Fang. Other ethnic groups include the Nzebi, Myene, Bandjabi, Bakota, Bapounou, and Bateke. Also, there are more than 10,000 native French. Even if there are other languages in which some parts of people speak, like Bantu, pygmy languages, the primary Gabon language is French. So, if you know French a little bit, you can manage your travel much easier. Also, it can be interesting that pygmies, the earliest inhabitants in Gabon, are well-known for their knowledge and skills in medicine and healing.

2. Climate of Gabon

The climate of Gabon can be on the list of useful information about the country. This country has an equatorial climate. So, the climate is determined by warm temperature and high humidity. The essential rainy season starts in October and ends in May. Between June and September, there is almost no rainfall, but humidity remains. So, you can manage your travel time due to climate information.

3. Best time to travel to Gabon

After the climate, we can discuss the best time to travel to Gabon. According to touristic information, the more appropriate time to visit Gabon is the period between June and August. During this time the weather is much better, the road is more clear and navigable. On the other hand, there are fewer mosquitoes; it means that at this period, your visit to Gabon can be more comfortable. Also, the dry season is a good time for going on safari. Before planning your trip, read about Gabon visa requirements on our website.

4. Places in Gabon

Probably if someone plans to travel to Gabon, he/she is interested in famous places which can make their trip more amazing. It can be said that Gabon is unique among equatorial African countries, and this region offers peace and stability. Certainly, there are numerous places to visit. One of them is the Church of St. Michael. This wooden church is situated in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. It is supported by 31 tall and heavily-carved wooden columns. There is a lot of portray from Christian and African legend. And in my opinion, it can attract the attention of all visitors because the author of these works is a blind Gabonese craftsman. Another example of outstanding places in Gabon is the Presidential Palace. The construction of this palace was in the 1970s by Gabon's former president, Omar Bongo. Despite visitors have not permission to the palace, you can see its beautiful modernist design. Also, you can get a chance to take memorable photos near this building. Kongou Waterfalls, Franceville, Port-Gentil, Point Denis, Lambarane can be included in your list of places to visit.

5. Gabon Capital

If you are going to visit Gabon, you should take into account Gabon capital, Libreville too. You can find paved roads, clean streets, wonderful restaurants, good French wines, casinos, and gated communities because of oil money. Libreville's foundation has a vibrant African complete with chaotic, overcrowded fun markets, close-knit communities, and a gorgeous coastline. In addition to the markets, museums, cathedrals, you can also see a little spot such as Ekwata Island.

6. Culture

The culture of the country where you are going to go can be fascinating for you. When the culture of Gabon is spoken, the music of this country is recalled. This African country is well-known for its various musical styles like folk. The ngombi, the obola, the balafon, traditional drums are included in Gabon folk music. Gabon has internationally celebrated masks for different, predominantly ceremonial reasons such as funerals, marriage, and birth. Valuable materials and local woods are the main pieces used by traditionalists. Also, the Gabon flag can be a suitable example of the Gabon culture. Several museums can glorify Gabon culture, like National Museum. The National Museum maintains the most beautiful wood carvings in Africa. Especially, you can see the local Fang style of carving, which affected Picasso's figures and busts. So, you can enhance your cultural knowledge by visiting there.

7. Nature

In my opinion, the nature of the country should be included the necessary things which we should know. When you search where is Gabon, you can see that this African country is a wildlife enthusiast's paradise. Tropical forests and thirteen national parks cover this country. Gorillas, chimpanzees, and mandrills at Lope, turtles on the beach at Pongara are just small parts of the wildlife of Gabon. Also, there are at least 700 recorded species of birds on the forested hills of Moukalaba-Doudou National Park.  On the other hand, there is the Bateke Plateau which includes forests, elephants, buffalos, river hogs, gorillas, panthers, crocodiles, monkeys, and parrots. Instagrammable photos of them can be taken. Also, you should know that you will not have to stand in line for buying entrance tickets. Those white sand beaches, national and jungle roads can be great photo frames for you.

8. Things to do

During the travel to Gabon, action activities will be looking for you. You can explore two separate river systems, the Djidji and the Kongou, and pack raft to Central Africa’s highest Djidji Falls. The untouched paradise of a big jungle and other amazing landscapes waiting to be seen. Another thrilling action you can find in Gabon is a jeep or boat safari. It is best to explore cruising through savannas or rivers by car and boat. You can see wild animals such as antelopes, monkeys, buffalos, and several birds like hornbills and turaco. On the other hand, have you heard about the nighttime crocodile tracking? This exciting activity is suitable for all ages. Also, it is safe with experienced guides. You can cruise with them close to the edge of the mangroves and lagoon, and you can get the opportunity to watch the red eyes reflection of the crocodile. Bike rides can be among the most exciting activities in Gabon. You can ride along the beach or hills of the wonderful Plains of Vera near Gamba village. Feeling great freedom, breathing fresh air can be your beautiful gain from your Gabon trip. Fishing is considered one of the engaging activities in this region. Mostly it is popular among European visitors. Most of Gabon rivers and lakes suggest excellent catches. You can find the widest variety of fish along the country's Atlantic coast.

9. Is it safe to travel to Gabon?

Probably the essential point which is considered by visitors be "Is it safe to travel to Gabon”. One of these issues is road safety in Gabon. You can meet some traffic accidents because of poor lighting, disobeying traffic signals, cattle and other animals on the roadways, pedestrians walking on roads, and others. You can pretend dangerous with some tactics. For example, you should keep your doors locked or do not stop if you see rocks or logs in the middle of the road because this is a technique used in Africa for robbers to trick vehicles into stopping. Another item is transport safety in Gabon. The safest method of transport in Gabon is to catch taxis. You can either hire a whole taxi for a higher price or catch a shared taxi. So you can create your safety in the travel with preparations and preventions.

10. Atlantic Coast

When you plan your Gabon trip, in my opinion, you should take into account the Atlantic coast too. You can take the winding tour leading from Libreville to the beach of Cap Esterias north offers an opportunity to explore the natural beauty. This beauty maintains the forest of enormous trees which you will pass through. Rocks are rich with sea urchins, oysters, and lobsters. Cap Esterias is a safe place to swim in the ocean. Safety on the beach can be a positive answer for the visitors who think is it safe to travel to Gabon. In conclusion, I would like to say that you can hold calm, interesting travel to Gabon if you get information about this region before, and prepare yourself.

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